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Magazine Issue 16: Philosophy for Learning
October 2011

This month ideas about and techniques for Philosophy & Learning

Article: Philosophy for Learning
Teaching Tips
New Resources
Additional Resources
Wise Words

This Month's Article:

Philosophy for Learning

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Philosophy for Learning An Article offering a very quick summary about Philosophy. Blag your way in the staff room!

This is a Free Sample Resource

Categories: Article, Thinking Skills, RE & Philosophy, Educators

Tags: Philosophy Socrates Metzinger
The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next. Abraham Lincoln

What is Philosophy? How is it relevant in school? Why should we bother finding out?

Two Philosophers
In 399BC the great Socrates died by forced suicide. The establishment felt threatened by his teachings and believed his pupils were being corrupted rather than enlightened. His gift to the world goes like this: Other people might be wrong. Just because lots of people (or a few important ones) believe something is true, doesn’t necessarily make it so. A comforting idea when it comes to political announcements, art criticism and X-Factor judgements. 

Philosopher Thomas Metzinger is still alive and as far as I know has not been asked to commit suicide. Metzinger might find suicide more problematic than Socrates because he believes that Nobody has or had a self. We are all just creations of our minds. He uses a rubber hand to prove it. (take a look on youtube http://youtu.be/ZFjY1fAcESs). Metzinger is a philosopher of the mind who collaborates ingeniously with neuroscientists to think up fun experiments that prove we don’t exist. Now there’s job satisfaction.

More Philosophers
In between these two great thinkers have lived hundreds of official philosophers and thousands of unofficial ones: people who ask why? and how?; people who want to think beyond the surface detail and people who have an un-dimmable passion to answer philosophy’s two great questions:

What can we know? How can we know it?

But I reckon that children are the true philosophers. Unburdened by adult mind-baggage they have an enviable freedom to ask any question and to think any thought:

What colour is God? Why do leaves crackle? How fast does rain go? Why do humans fight each other? Can a frog think? What colour is life? 

We must value their disposition to ask and their desire to know. We must use this in the ways we teach. And to do so we must become philosophers ourselves. What can we know? How can we know it?


Teaching Tips:

Tips for Philosophy

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Tips for Philosophy Two Teaching Tips for infusing Philosophy into your lessons: Socrates-Lite and The Philosopher's big grid for generating curious questions.

Categories: Teaching Tips, Teaching & Learning, RE & Philosophy, Educators

Tags: Philosophy Socrates
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New Resources:

Doodle Thinking

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Doodle Thinking A Thinking Skills Tool that reframes the concept of doodling, turning it into a powerful learning technique.

Categories: Thinking Tool, Memory Skills, Visual Thinking, Learning Styles, Any Subject, Secondary, Tertiary

Tags: Doodling Visual Thinking Learning Styles
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Science Think Sheet - Investigation

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Science Think Sheet - Investigation A Think Sheet of Thinking Classroom ideas for prompting investigative thinking and planning, and for developing a scientific mindset.

Categories: Think Sheet, Science, Secondary, Thinking Skills

Tags: Investigation
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DT Think Sheet - Product Ideas

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DT Think Sheet - Product Ideas A Think Sheet of Thinking Classroom ideas for considering design requirements and innovative/creative product problem solving.

Categories: Think Sheet, DT, Junior, Secondary, Thinking Skills

Tags: Design
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Additional Resources:

Thinking Classroom Archive:

Holiday Think Sheet - Thinking at Home

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Holiday Think Sheet - Thinking at Home A Think Sheet using Thinking Classroom ideas to keep pupils' brains active during school holidays.

This is a Free Sample Resource

Find out more or Download now:
Categories: Think Sheet, Thinking Skills, Other Subject, Junior

Tags: Holiday Vacation

Art Think Sheet - Mark Making

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Art Think Sheet - Mark Making A Think Sheet using Thinking Classroom ideas to develop the creative use of tools, media and surfaces. 

Categories: Think Sheet, Art, Early Years, Infant, Junior, Thinking Skills

Tags: Mark Making
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Books:

Once Upon an If
by Peter Worley

Once Upon an If <br>by Peter Worley Once Upon an If: The Storythinking Handbook, a practical story-based resource with multiple curriculum wins.

Available from Amazon

Opens in a New Window
Categories: Suggested Books, Thinking Skills, RE & Philosophy

Tags: Story

Wise Words:

"Philosophy begins in wonder"
Plato

Next month we think about Talent